Tonight we attended the end of the year swim banquet for our mermaid.
I provided the background music. She earned the most improved swimmer award.

She is a quiet girl.

She is kind, yet still unsure how to rest in who she is.
I suppose we all struggle with that our whole life.  She, however, really has to fight to push through it.

Four years ago she tried out for a team in Georgia, but didn’t want to compete. I pulled her and decided that at age 8 it wasn’t all that important to push her.

Last summer we decided it was time for her to try out for the Swim Team here on Post. I’ll never forget my soldier returning home from taking her to tryouts. He walked in through the kitchen. I was in the living room as the weekly Neighborhood Bible Study we hosted had already begun. He sat in the chair beside me and whispered in my ear, “I couldn’t get her to get out of the car.”

As I looked at her tonight laughing and giggling with her friends, I thought about that day of tryouts. We obviously eventually got her to get out of the car. She tried out, made the team, and started at the lowest level with kids several years younger. It’s been almost a year since then. She has moved from the Bronze, to the Silver and now is practicing two hours a night, four to five days a week on the Gold team.
No doubt she earned that award tonight.

Yet …
She cried on the way home.
She still feels like she’s not good enough.
Her times aren’t as good as her friend’s times.

I got to talk to her about how she’s got to push through that.
This year was a learning year.
This year she did great!
This year she grew.

I got to talk to her about how she’s got to keep things in perspective and make sure she’s always doing her best, yet not sacrificing more than she wants to sacrifice. If she wants to add two hours a week of dry land practice, fine, but she’s young … does she really want to trade two more hours of time with friends, family, or just of down time, for more practice? Is she okay with doing that even if her times do not improve?

I got to talk to her about how she needs to remember that none of this is about swimming in high school or college, etc. This is about swimming right now. This is about glorifying Jesus in her swimming right now.

We don’t know what the future holds.
But what we do know what the Bible says about making plans (James 4:13-15).

That is truly all it’s about. Anything else is extra. Anything else isn’t worth it.

My girls saw their Gran last May. They knew she was sick. They knew she could die from being so sick.
But they are kids, and she lived far away.

It was hard for me to grasp, and I know it was just all the more so for them to.

I wondered earlier today how difficult it must be for them to have just been told that she was gone. It had been six months since they saw her. They didn’t get to say goodbye.

While my swimmer still struggles so much with being confident in who she is, I wish so deeply that her Gran could have seen her swim … just once.
I wish so much that she could see how much this quiet California girl of mine has grown this year … and to see the young lady she’s becoming.
I wish she could have had just once the hug from her Gran telling her that she did a good job.

It really is so true how we realize what’s the most important once we no longer have the chance to have it.

My swimmer’s coach also commented tonight on her character.
When you’re 12 I’m sure that making a District I/II time is far more powerful to you than a speech on your great character.
But as we all know, we’re not 12 forever.

A seed was planted tonight.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to just listen to her and love on her a little extra.
I am thankful for the words God put upon my heart to point her to Him.
I am thankful for the ache that only He can remedy.

I am thankful I got to water that seed a bit.

So proud of my girl.  And as I told her tonight, I would be just as proud … even if she didn’t swim.



One thought on “Swim

  1. You have inspired me to enroll my two kids on a local swim team.I have been considering it for over a year now.
    Charlotte is like me, in the way of not being competitive, so she quits. It was hard for me, as a child, to keep on, even though I knew I would lose, and maybe come in last. I now have learned to compete again myself, to make myself better, stronger, feel accomplished. That is what I hope swim team will do for her. With Jack, I hope he gains self confidence, self assurance, and more friendship building skills. Thank you for sharing so openly.

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